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Monday, October 16, 2006

District of Columbia

“Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.” ~Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo

I make fun of the tourists. I do. Because they’re just so damn entertaining traipsing through the capital in their shorts and sandals with socks while stopping in the middle of the sidewalk at the Supreme Court to get a view of Antonin. I mean really? What’s not to love about these charming individuals?

They also get to take these great little trolley tours and the duck tour (Converts from boat to bus. Yippee!), which I’m sure are great and possibly informative. Then they take their little trips to “I’m rich and shopping and too good for you” land AKA Georgetown (but I don’t hate, I love me some Georgetown). And they think that they’re seeing the real nation’s capital. “Look, Honey! There’s Tim Russert! In his Lexus” Then they get happy when they see Sam Brownback on the street and it’s all la-di-fucking-da. (“DC is so fabulous. Let’s stay forever”)

The tourists miss out on the awesomeness that it is to live here. From up on high in their tours, they miss the black man in an old Mercedes Benz being chased by police at 12:45 AM through Shaw. Hell, they probably don’t know where Shaw is. Here’s a hint: Not near the Jimmy Choo in Chevy Chase! They’d also miss out on the joy of driving home on a random Saturday evening and lo’ there is police tape. And what is that on the ground? AHA! Of course, a body. An actual dead person on the ground. (“DC is so charming! Such lifelike Halloween decorations!”)

Which means that they’d also miss out on the joy of trying to console oneself after viewing said body on the ground. Thus they would never get lost at 1:45 AM and inadvertently drive to Landover. But then, they would miss out on the joy of seeing where Redskins play (READ: Lose) or realize the wonder that is Pennsylvania Ave. - in SE, not that safe 1600 block at Northwest- at 2 AM (READ: Holyfuckingshitballs, I could have died!)

So really, it’s all in jest. I actually feel bad for the tourists; because they have to miss out on all of this joy and wonder of living in this spectacularly wonderful city. It’s like the happiest place on Earth, right next to Disney World. That is if Disney World had a high crime rate and Mickey and Minnie were its very bitter (yet brilliant) residents.


Blogger ocg said...

You, my dear, are a brilliant writer.

I am glad that you got out safely.

And, I am almost hesitant to say, I love D.C. and would move there... crime, politics and all.

7:04 PM  
Blogger wunelle said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sandals and socks are bad? Why? Sez who? Is it just a religious-type thing--they're bad because they just are? Why aren't socks bad all the time then? I'm confused. Birkenstock makes a "sandal sock." (I just know. I just do.) Are these also bad?

7:55 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

ocg: Why, than you. It really is a wonderful place. Just a little much at times, particularly this past saturday evening.

wunelle: Ok, socks and sandals is bad all the time. period. But I forgive you, not that you would ever wear socks and sandals, but you know, as a premptive/retroactive type thing. If ever it should arise, I forgive.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

LOL. Last year when my cousin was visiting SF from DC for the first time, he proclaimed, "It's all so clean." I then informed him that we would be entering the Tenderloin soon. He was relieved. It was all so familiar. Guys on the corner with paperbags. I informed him that if we had rolled through after dark, he would have had the pleasure of seeing the ladies working.

I hate that "Disneyland" vision and like to show off my home area in all its aspects. Sure the homes in Presidio Heights are fabulous. Oh, and the views. But there is more to SF than that. Of course I don't include Bayview/Hunter's Point in the tour because while I am tough enough to venture into that area, I doubt how most tourists will deal with it.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I suppose any city has it's good and bad parts. But it can still be a little infuriating or maybe it had been a long fucking night.

Did I mention that this all (the police chase, dead body, and getting lost in Landover) occured on Saturday night between 12:30 AM and 2 AM???

Oh yeah, true story.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I've only been to DC once - in the eight grade for a class trip, but I feel like I've been there since, because you have so many great insuide references.

Come visit Minneapolis! I guarantee you'll like it! Unless it's January - March.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Lux Lisbon said...

well except for the layover between flights from sweden to denver, i have never been in DC, but after those fantasic visuals i am sooooo gona check it out. fo show.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

katerkins: sadly, my trip to Minneapolis was canceled. Though totally not my fault. Tell R.T. I said what up.

lux: surely you jest...but it can be lovely, just not in the hood at 1 AM, which is the standard for most cities.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

It's always amazed me that the white house is surrounded by such bad neighborhoods.

I do love DC though. My "home" town, seeings I was born at Georgetown Hospital. Spent a summer at GW too. Great (albeeit expensive) city

9:57 AM  
Blogger Lux Lisbon said...

i don't jest and please don't call me shirley (muahahah!)
actually i'm dead serious. i love grity cities. they have their own special charm.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Golden Silence said...

I agree with this.

When I first moved to the area last year, the only maps of DC available were the ones that were geared towards tourists...and my aunt told me "Don't go to SE!"

Well, I managed to figure out where everything is (thank you, Google maps) and have "survived" trips to and through SE.

But the's like watching a sitcom!

1:17 PM  

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